My family and I recently built a summer home in southern NJ. I was raised in the area and spent many summers fishing, clamming, lobstering, and diving. As such it was our first choice in location.
About 3 times a year, my family and I (wife and children) take a Jetski trip to a back bay area of Barnegat Bay Lighthouse. There are a number of clamming grounds in the area, however the best areas are well protected secrets amongst the locals. It personally took my small group of friends and I years to find the most productive and diverse (raw, steamers, stuffers, chowder...often commercially called little necks, cherrystone, tops necks, etc. size) grounds. For cumulatively 20 summers, my friends and I have plucked 1000s of clams from the bay. Not once had we ever found a pearl, until this week. As mentioned, my wife actually made the discovery. I keenly remember her finding an odd shaped clam and thinking whether it was "good" to eat.
After shucking dozens of clams for chowder that evening, I came across the odd clam my wife found. Rather than just shuck and chuck, I performed and internal inspection (to make sure it was "good"). And that's when I found it! Instantly I knew it was a pearl, but was amazed by it size, color, and in my mind a perfect shape (for jewelery). I also knew at that point I may want to make it into something special and then went in search of information.
I have a few questions.
I measured the peak at around 14mm and weighs around 3 grams / 15 carats. What are your thoughts on quality, rarity, and relative value. Is this something you would be interested in buying or selling on our behalf. Could you recommend a jeweler who works with pearls if we think its valuable enough to make a piece. Any other thoughts are appreciated, along with your time.
I hope you enjoy the pictures.